Out of 42 videos from 19 schools and 145 participants, four students from Penticton Secondary School walked away with $2,000 for their school and $500 for themselves along with bragging rights for their video Open Your Eyes that won the WorkSafe B.C. safety video contest.
High school students from around the province entered the sixth annual contest with videos featuring concepts based on this year’s theme: “Overexposed! What you may not see can kill you,” which focused on hidden occupational exposures that can be deadly.
“We chose this theme because we need to dispel the perception that exposure related illnesses like some forms of cancer are strictly old-person diseases. We want to educate youth that exposures today can have an impact later in life,” said Trudi Rondou, WorkSafe B.C. manager.
Pat Dones, Geordon Doukakis, Jordan Findlay and Alex Greba were the students who made the winning video. Though film teacher Russ Stasiuk helped them some, most was done by the students using their own equipment. They have been learning film with Stasiuk for the past four years, placing first in contests at Zoom Fest and the B.C. Student Film Festival. They had entered a video in the WorkSafe B.C. contest the previous three years but didn’t win it until this year.
“They put me on speaker phone and I was like, ‘No way,’” said Doukakis of when his teammates called to tell him they had won.
They wanted the 90-second film to be focused on unseen dangers in the workplace, but in a comical way, with the video mostly improvised by three of them wearing blindfolds in the school’s wood shop, which was accompanied by slow-motion frames and overly theatrical music.
“Students are motivated by competitions,” said Stasiuk. “It’s not like they’re running around making films on zombies. There’s a good message to it.”
The students, three in Grade 12 and one in 11, are grateful for Stasiuk’s teaching and guidance over the years. “He’s an incredible teacher,” said Doukakis. “He puts a lot into it, he goes so far beyond a teacher’s responsibilities.”
WorkSafe B.C. is an independent provincial agency that serves almost 2.3 million workers and more than 196,000 employers. The organization is committed to safe and healthy workplaces and to providing return-to-work rehabilitation and compensation benefits to workers injured as a result of their employment.
The contest was open to all high school students in the province with a teacher providing project supervision and approval of the final video. Entries were judged based on their impact, transferable safety message, original creative concept and technical execution. They were also judged on how well they provided a youth perspective on workplace safety and how well safety messages targeted young workers and their peer groups.
The winning videos can be viewed on the WorkSafe B.C. site at http://www2.worksafebc.com/Topics/YoungWorker/miscellaneous.asp?reportid=36366.